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Jan 31, 2002

Heavy weapons used in southside shootout

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This evening, police are still investigating an early morning shootout in southside Belize City that has traumatised a neighbourhood and destroyed one man’s car. According to police reports, just before 2 o’clock this morning, thirty-three year old Frank Lopez woke up to the sound of gunshots and looked outside only to find his GMC Suburban truck on fire. Eyewitnesses, who declined to speak on camera, tell News 5 that at about 1:45 a.m., they saw a small car enter the area. A lone gunman emerged with what appeared to be an AK-47 and fired several shots at the truck. A bottle with some sort of flammable liquid was then thrown inside and the interior set ablaze. Responding to the report, the police recovered nine expended five point five-six shells from the area. This is the type of ammunition used in an M-16 assault rifle. During their investigation Wednesday night, police say they spotted a car matching the description of the one used in the Supal Street shooting, but as they tried to stop it, the occupants took off. A high-speed chase ensued through the streets with the suspects shooting at the cops. The getaway car was later found abandoned on Pine Street. The vehicle, a red Toyota Corolla, had been reported stolen earlier. Inside, police found a magazine clip with eleven live nine millimetre rounds and a single five point five-six bullet. Up to newstime tonight, no suspects had been detained by police.

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